Another Original LR Translation: Poland and World War II

Translator’s Introduction

Knowing one’s history helps avoid repeating errors made in the past and thus makes one better able to control the present and better take one’s country in a chosen direction.

The Russians, inventors of the Potemkin village, under Stalin wrote a Potemkin past for themselves themselves and therefore lost track of the present, leading to the creation and eventual collapse of one of the most evil societies the world has seen.

Lilliputin and his Teddy Bear are, of course, apples off the same tree. So what better way to get Russia off its knees and back right at the bottom of the ditch where it has been for most of its history than by re-writing recent history instead of getting down to some real thinking!

“Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the establishment of a special commission to counter attempts to falsify history to the detriment of Russia’s interests, the Kremlin said.” 

As the process gets under way, the Russian schizos crawl out from under the woodwork as WWII is post-facto corrected, as pointed out in a recent LR post.  Are we seeing preparations for a ‘perfectly reasonable’ Russian claim for similar privileges with regards to /Kaliningrad? I suspect we are.

The heroes at Novaya Gazeta, some of the last few folk capable of intelligent reason left in Russia (LR’s issue last Sunday contained welcome Western recognition of the paper), have their usual intelligent and reasoned take on this.

Russian Colonel Rehabilitates Ribbentrop

by Oleg Khlebnikov

Novaya Gazeta

8 June 2009

Translated from the Russian by Dave Essel

An article entitled “Inventions and Falsified Evaluations of the Role of the USSR on the Eve of the Second World War” was recently published on the RF Ministry of Defence’s official website. This article was signed by the Head of the North-West Region Military History Scientific Research Department of the RF Ministry of Defence Institute of Military History, a certain Colonel Sergei Kovalyov, Candidate of Historical Sciences (TN:  the apprxomiate equivalent of an MA degree in History). The main thesis of this opus is that it was Poland fault that WWII started. Strange that just Poland should be to blame – what about the Baltic countries and Finland? Writes Colonel Kovalyov: “Anyone who has studied the history of WWII in an unprejudiced manner knows that the war started because of Poland’s refusal to accede to German demands. Few, however, know what precisely A. Hitler was demanding of Warsaw. In fact, these demands were not at all onerous: to make the free city of Danzig (Gdansk) part of the Third Reich and allow the construction of an extraterritorial highway and railroad linking Eastern Prussia with Germany proper. It would be hard to describer either of these demands as without foundation.”

At this point one cannot but think with gratitude of the Japanese who are not starting a third world war despite the fact that we refuse to return their Northern Territories to them.

The good colonel proceeds to elaborate on his views about the reasons for the outbreak of WWII, describing Poland’s stubbornness and great-power ambitions: “The overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of Danzig, which had been taken away from Germany under the Treaty of Versailles, were ethnic Germans and they genuinely wanted to be reunited with their historic homeland. The demand regarding the road and railroad issue was also quite natural, in particular since the lands of the “Polish corridor” separating the two Germanies would not be affected <…>. *** There should therefore have been no major difficulties when it was proposed to Poland on 24 October 1938 that it settle the Danzig and Polish Corridor problem. Poland’s response was a firm negative, as were its further responses to other German proposals. Poland, in its pursuit of great power status, had no wish to become junior partner to Germany. On 26 March 1939 Poland gave its final rejection of German demands.”

Mind you, Colonel Kovalyov does not just dish it out to Poland: “…A fair proportion of the blame for the failure to create a collective counterbalance to fascist aggression lies with the ‘lesser’ European nations. A romantic belief in the fairness of the Western democracies and their willingness to give protection, combined with some flirting with Germany, blinkered anti-Sovietism (frequently with Russophobe undertones) turned these too for a time into pawns on the world political chessboard…”

All told, Colonel Kovalyov not only justifies the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact but to all intents and purposes presents it as a triumph of Soviet diplomacy. He appears to be not the slightest bit concerned about how Russia’s near neighbours may feel about such views, this despite the fact that he claims to be a patriot of his country – which should mean, in my view, that he ought to feel concern for the interests of his country. Or am I mistaken?

The publication of Col. Kovalyov’s article was widely noticed and remarked in Russia. It therefore quickly disappeared for the Military Encyclopaedia section of the MoD website. The head of the press relations and information service of the RF MoD Alexandr Drobyshevskii (also a colonel) made a statement: “This section publishes a variety of articles, including discussion papers.” Well, at least that clarifies what sort of ‘Encyclopaedia’ we are dealing with….

The following day Chief of General Staff General Nikolai Makarov declared: “This publication […] reflects the point of view of its author but in no way reflects the official position of the Ministry of Defence.”

What is most interesting, however, is that Sergei Kovalyov’s paper can still be found on the website – in the online version of the Military-Historical Journal. It has actually been up for nearly a year, having been published in Issue 7/2008. Of even greater interest is the fact that the paper is included in the list of publications presented by the good colonel in support of his doctoral dissertation due to be defended on 11 June.

It is also worth noting that the Director of the Institute of History of the Russian Academy of Sciences – who also happens to be a member of Russian Presidential Commission to Counter Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia’s Interests – was merely surprised by the article. In his view, “the subject is one that might be discussed at a scientific conference. A paper to counter the views expressed in it might then be written. Everything, however, should be done without hysteria or euphoria [sic], as that is not the scientific way.” Sakharov, however, did manage to add: “But to say that Poland was to blame for the outbreak of the war is, without doubt, strange.”

We on this newspaper are also all for science without hysteria but to write that Poland was practically single-handedly to blame for the outbreak of WWII is rather more than strange – in view of Poland’s losses and suffering (including at the hands of the Soviet Union’s NKVD) in this war, it is lunatic and quite disgraceful

32 responses to “Another Original LR Translation: Poland and World War II

  1. The thing is that after such soviet military leaders as Mikhail Tukhachevsky, Iyeronim Uborevich, Yona Yakir, Vasyliy Blyukher and Alexander Yegorov had been executed in 1937 and in later years, the military theory was changed to proclaim that the soviet armed forces “will conduct future wars only on the enemy territory” and “with a little loss of blood.” And young officers, who replaced the dismissed or executed ones, did believe the Red Army was prepared to do that — that is “to fight the enemy on the enemy’s territory” and “with a little loss of blood.” Incidentally, one fact alone out of many can illustrate the state the Red Army was in shortly before the war broke out — at one of the large meetings of regiment commanders, there was not a single one who had been trained to command regiments at military schools — most had just graduated from the “young lieutenant’s courses.” The ideological and propaganda pressure was such that these young officers did believe they could lead their forces into war “on the enemy territory” and win it “with a little loss of blood.”

    Another thing should be mentioned here too. The Red Army had more tanks and military planes than Germany at the time when Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This fact was also suppressed by the soviets for a long time. On the day of the German invasion, that is June 22 1941, the Red Army had in the western regions of the Soviet Union alone — those closest to the border — 9,200 tanks, 8,450 military planes, 46,630 field cannons and mortars. According to Georgiy Zhukov, the then head of the soviet general staff, the Red Army with the reserves in those regions included, had up to 100,000 field guns and mortars, 12,000 tanks, — 1,861 of them the new KV and T-34 tanks, 18,000 planes — 8,700 of which were of the new types. The German forces involved in the invasion numbered 5.5 million people — the soviets had 5 million; the Germans had only 3,580 tanks, self-propelled artillery pieces included, 2,740 planes, 47,200 filed guns and mortars.

    The Red Army had more than enough of military equipment and weapons to be the first to attack. The hard lessons of the recent Soviet–Finnish war, when the overwhelming soviet superiority had not brought the immediate desired results and cost too many soviet lives, were forgotten. Georgiy Zhukov, Alexandr Vasilevsky (one of the soviet top military commanders) and Semyon Timoshenko, the then “people’s commissar” (minister) of defence worked out a plan of attacking Germany no later than on May 15 1941. According to this plan, the soviets were to attack the German forces while they were in the process of deployment (the German forces were, at that time, being deployed along the soviet borders, from the Baltic in the north and to the Black sea in the south — tr.). But when in May 1941, Rudolf Hess flew on a mysterious mission to Great Britain where he was imprisoned, Stalin began to fear Germany’s alliance with Britain, and never signed the attack plan into action (Rudolf Hess, 1894– 1987 — German Nazi leader; when Hitler became chancellor in 1933, he named Hess as deputy Fuhrer and later as second in succession to the Nazi leadership; in May 1941 Hess was captured in Scotland, where he had flown apparently in a bid to start peace talks with Britain; at the Nuremburg trials in 1946, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in Spandau Prison, Berlin, for war crimes — tr.).

  2. @At this point one cannot but think with gratitude of the Japanese who are not starting a third world war despite the fact that we refuse to return their Northern Territories to them.
    The good colonel proceeds to elaborate on his views about the reasons for the outbreak of WWII, describing Poland’s stubbornness and great-power ambitions: “The overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of Danzig, which had been taken away from Germany under the Treaty of Versailles, were ethnic Germans and they genuinely wanted to be reunited with their historic homeland.

    Northern Territories’ status is certainly quite different, it’s not “free city” and it has been 100% ethnic cleansed (and then colonised).

  3. History is written by the victors. What is amazing is that the government is commissioning this work. In America, we have a whole progressive group that his infested Academia, that rewrites our history. Now, we have a president who apologizes every step of his way. The guy can’t stop apologizing.

    Now, in Russia, the government never apologizes for anything. Not for serfdom, not for WWI capitulation. Not for the Era of Terror, not for the invasion of Finland, not for Katyn, not for Ribbentrop Pact, not for seizing the countries of Eastern Europe, not for Throwing Jan Masaryk, foreign minister of Czechoslovakia out the window, not for Cuban Missile crisis, Not for the preemptive strike in Afghanistan, Not for Cherynobl, not for Chechenya, not for anything.

    When I lived in Russia, I advocated for a Gulag museum or memorial to be put in every city where there was one. That idea was shot down. I wanted the Russians to never forget their past so that it won’t be repeated. So much for that.

  4. The best quates on Poland as a failed state ever invented has always originated from Germany down the ages.

    “Poland was, is and will ever be a European wh… and we must stop this” — Friedrich II on the First Division of Poland between Germany, Russia and Austria.

    I’ve heard the Polacks invaded the Check republic along with the troops of Nazi Germany way back in 1938 and murdered all the Jews within their reach during the Nazi occupation. For all other reasons they are very nice people to anyone who has big $$$ to make them dance to any music you may fancy.

    • “I’ve heard”….that’s the best your six guinea pig powered mind can come up with? Verifiable linked facts trump “Ive heard”. And, teacher would have graded your paper a what for that nonsense?

      As I said earlier finish junior high school and then get back to us.

      And, your “quates” need another comma and an acknowledgement of the source.

      Illiteracy doesn’t need to be a life long handicap.

      • Hi, rts is right, Churchill called Poland “the european hyenna” when it invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938 (not Check Republic) after the german invasion

      • Bwahaha, ‘verifiable links’! You seem to lack any knowledge of Czechoslovakia partition of 1938/39, and still dare requiring the links! Are you banned in Google? If you don’t know how much is 2×2, don’t expect others to be your tutors, just return to you elementary school books.

        The same here, and that’s my free hint for you: try find something related to Zaolzie.

    • rts, you’re obviously just provoking. You know this is all wrong.

  5. It is getting more and more ridicilous…

    Apparently Russian state TV with help of some of the members of the ‘anti-falsification’ commission produced a ‘documentary’ ‘proving’ that Poland attempted to… invade the Soviet Union trying to encourage Nazi germany and Japan to do the same…

    Polish embassy in Moscow reacted of course, but I am certain more and more ‘rts-que’ kind of garbage will be shown in state media in coming months.

    It is really amazing what some people are trying to broadcast, good that some do not conceal their disgust and good, old fashioned hatred.
    Stalin would be proud.

    P.S. Poland indeed cooperated with Japan for the decades before 1939 and even later before the Empire joined the war, but relations with Japan were always fine and in this case it even resulted in some very interesting effects such as Siberian Brigade fighting against the Reds in 1920 with their Japanese Arisaka rifles, orphants and children evacuated from the chaos of the Civil War from the Far East through the Empire and which says a lot Japansese help in 1939-40 which saved numerous Polish Jews and non-Jewish Poles (differences are artificial and for nationalists and racists) from much worse fate the German & Soviet cooperation presented.

  6. rts
    Yes I`ve heard it too. It was absolutely truth. Polands and Germans nazy attacked Check republic in 1938. Factually it was the first cause of WW2. During 1939-1945 Polands killed millions Jews (and not only Jews). Penny like you this historical fact or not but it was absolutely truth.

    • OK, you goys are trolling us, pretending to be retarded Russians and watching our reactions.

    • Well, I’ve heard Romanians are vampires (you know, Dracula!) and that Russia is dominated by aliens from other planets (‘that meteorite in Tugunsk was one of their nuclear weapons’). Gee, it must be absolutely true.

  7. I am Russian –

    As someone of Polish Cartholic & Jewish antecedents who lived through the hell of Soviet & Nazi occupations in Eastern occupied Poland during WW2 save your tired stale Soviet propoganda.

    By facilitating and co-operating with the Nazi German occupation/ bi-partition of Poland the Soviet Union contributed to the Nazis being able to take the first steps on the path to the Holocaust.

    The number of Polish Jews murdered by Polish Catholics (a few hundred) pales in to absolute numerical insignificance when compared with those that were murdered by the Soviets(thousands, including the Chief Rabbi of Warsaw)

    Not to mention the fact that many Polish Jews were sheltered and saved by Catholic Poles (my mother being one such individual) at the risk of the execution of them and their whole family at the hands of the Nazis.

    There was no Russian version of the Polish Zegota (look it up) for example, a branch of the resistance financed and supported by both the Polish Government in Exile and the Armija Krakowia (Resistance.)

    As for Teschyn the part of Czechoslovakia you refer to. It was divided on ethnic lines (Polish/Czech) after WW1, the Czechs seized the whole when it looked like Poland would fall to the Soviets during the Polish-Soviet war 1920. Poland reciprocated the favour in 1937 when the Czechs had been thrown to the wolves at Munich.

    Unlike what was agreed between Russia & Germany in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact the seizure of Teschyn was not done in consultation or co-operation with Nazi Germany.

    But I can understand why you would have to spout such lies. It makes it easier as aRussian to avoid having to confront the fact that Nazi Germany & Soviet Russia were allies 1939-41 that co-operated closely in those years and that both were expansionist mass murdering dictatorships.

    I suppose it makes it easier for you, and other Russians like you, to be able to sleep easier at night in believing Soviet ‘historical’ fairy tales rather than acknowledge the truth of the monstrous mass-murdering brutal nature of the Soviet Union.

  8. ‘……Polands killed millions Jews ….’

    ~In addition for the record I Am Russian, you lying ignoramus, the Nazi German occupiers of Poand murdered an estimated 3 million Polish Jews and 3 million Polish Catholics ie 22% or 1/5 of the pre war population (the highest % of any country in Europe during WW2) The Soviets murdered up to a1 million Poles 1939-41 (Catholic, Jewish etc)

    This link, for those that are interested, goes in to some detail concerning the latter –

    Also I am Russian you will be proud to learn that the Nazis modelled there concentration camp network on that of the Russian Gulag, which they admired, studied and that had been running for the preceding decade before the Nazis got started in emulating them.

    Something else for you to be proud of.

    • Don’t forget to mention that the Soviets could have attacked and possibly liberated Warsaw in 1944, before the uprising, but instead preferred to let the Germans annihilate the ghettod Jews.

      In fact the Ruskies were in communication with the Warsaw Ghetto and encouraged the uprising, promising support, only to let them be slaughtered by the Germans.

    • Don’t forget the Soviets helped the Nazi’s train their pilots and refine their armoured tactics on Soviet territory in violation of the Versailles treaty. With friends like Russian’s, who needs enemies?

  9. My wife’s father’s family were deported from Volodymyr Volyn (now Ukraine). Her grandfather was just a Polish Forester who surprised me how well he spoke Ukrainian, even though he did not like them. They wound up in Siberia, China, Africa, England and finally the USA. RaSSiyan friends shipped them to Vladivostok. The Rashans were even going to murder my mother as she was a schoolteacher in Lviv. In the villages the Partisans were killing people who were just literate. Actually the Germans warned Mom when they found her death warrant already printed up, and signed. Never know who will be your savior. The only reason she made it out was because she was fluent in languages. The Americans turned back the refugees at the Austrian Border, who spoke Ukrainian. Speaking Polish got her out. My father was an officer in the Polish Army who did not want to fight for the Poles whom he detested, but that was the only way he could get an education. Then the Nazis wanted to draft him. He left his brother and sister behind as they took the last train out, before the Red Army returned.

  10. The WW II was won by the Soviet Union.The rest of allies had proved to be but remote decorations for the Nazi-Soviet front most of the time in the Pacific and north Africa . It means the existance of Poland as a national state, not just another German land, was granted and secured by the Soviet Union. And not only poland in that number. Russia lost 600.000 soldiers for the liberation of Poland. You simply can’t deny the facts presented from numerous sources. The rest is just verbal trash to polish Polish striving for the US newly printed faked $$$ which is the very nature of that nation. “Give me money or I’ll call you an enemy” – it’s as simple as that.

    • Germany was defeated by the Allies operating in concert.
      Without the British holding down large numbers of German troops in the west and north africa, not to mention much of the luftwaffe, and forcing the Germans to delay barbarossa by 2 or 3 months by fighting dogged actions in Greece and Crete (in the process gutting the German airborne forces) the Germans would have crushed Russia in 1941, as it was the Germans came within a hair of doing so.
      Russia was sustained and able to fight because of allied supply efforts, even the majority of Red Army uniforms came from the US via lend lease, as did most of the armour plate for Russian tanks, as Russian steel was vastly inferior.
      Not to mention all the aircraft, trucks, ammunition, tanks, and aircraft that were supplied.
      The allied invasion of Italy in 1943 drew off forces from the eastern front that were desperately required there, and the allied strategic bomber offensive caused immense problems for German industry and tied down over one million men, and tens of thousands of the dreaded 88mm Flak, which could have been much better used on the front lines.
      The allied invasion of Normandy (and the British Commonwealth forces in particular) faced 12 German armoured divisions, including 12th SS, Panzer Lehr and other crack formations, while at the same time the Russians faced 18 German armoured divisions on the ENTIRE eastern front.
      Without the western allies, Russia would have collapsed.
      Without the Russians, the UK & US would have been stuck sitting in the UK.

    • ‘liberation of poland’ ????? What?!!!!! Liberated to what? Sorry dude rts, I’ve got letters from Occupied Poland from family membersbegging for the most basic necessities, describing having everything one has worked for confiscated by the state, even being evicted from where they live by the state due to old age! That is certainly NOT a place that is existing in a state of liberty. Try tyranny.

    • No Poland was not liberated by the Russians, the Poles liberated themselves. It only took a while, after 5 years of German and 45 years of Russian occupation, to become a free country in 1989.

    • Sure Russia won WWII against the Nazis. But what I don’t understand is why you think this was a good thing. Care to explain? :-)

  11. Meanwhile in the North Caucasus, the Russians are up to their usual tricks.

    Kremlin ‘authorises’ Chechen president to ‘torture’ Ingushetia rebels
    Tensions in Russia’s turbulent North Caucasus mounted after Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen president, said he had been authorized by the Kremlin to begin a campaign of “torture” against rebels in neighbouring Ingushetia.

    By Adrian Blomfield in Moscow
    Published: 5:33PM BST 23 Jun 2009

    Russian troops appeared to be preparing to launch a major counterterrorism operation a day after Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the Ingush president, was seriously wounded in a suicide bombing.

    Mr Yevkurov, a close ally of Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, was on life-support in a Moscow hospital yesterday after sustaining serious injuries to his skull, ribs and vital organs, doctors said.

    Speaking from the hospital, Mr Medvedev ordered a “direct and ruthless” response to the attack, which the Kremlin said was carried out by Islamist rebels who have gradually shifted their focus from Chechnya to Ingushetia.

    In an unprecedented move, Mr Kadyrov said he had been instructed by the Russian president to extend his remit beyond Chechnya’s borders by taking control of operations against the insurgents in Ingushetia.

    Despite facing regular accusations of human rights abuses, Mr Kadyrov has largely subdued a decade long rebellion in Chechnya since Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, appointed him to run the republic in 2007.

    Mr Kadyrov claimed that Ingushetia had failed to crush a related rebellion because its leaders had been insufficiently robust in tackling the insurgents — a mistake he said he had no intention of repeating.

    “If they had used torture and detentions, there wouldn’t be any Wahabbism or terrorism,” he said.

    The threat comes amid growing signs that the North Caucasus is in the grip of its worst instability for at least four years. Four senior officials have been shot dead in Ingushetia and Dagestan, another quasi-autonomous republic in the Russian Caucasus, over the past three weeks.

    Other rebel attacks have been reported on an almost daily basis.

    A senior interior ministry official confirmed that Russia’s military presence across the North Caucasus was being increased.

    “A top-level decision has been taken to sharply boost anti-terrorist and anti-sabotage activity in the territory,” the official was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

    A repeat of the carpet bombing of Chechen cities, ordered by Mr Putin in 1999, is thought unlikely, however. Observers said the operation was likely to be restricted to house-to-house searches and small engagements in Ingush mountains.

  12. So much for all the Russian crocodile tears about Guantanamo.

    Typical Russian hypocrisy.

  13. rts forgot to mention the following facts, in addition to the “fact” that the sovok union won “the” WWII:

    – Russia/sovok union won “the” WWI

    – Russia/sovok union invented the light bulb

    -Rasha/sovok union invented fire

    -rasha/sovok union won the war in Afghanistan

    -rasha/sovok union created the countries of Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Germany, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Albania

    -in fact, rasha/sovok union created all countries as we know them today

    -if it were not for rasha/sovok union, there would be no peace in Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria today

    -rasha/sovok union also invented the rannerator

    -rasha/sovok union does not “striving for the US newly printed faked $$$ which is the very nature of that nation. “Give me money or I’ll call you an enemy” – oily orthodox moozer rasha is holier than everyone else, and they don’t care about “ze” newly printed fake $$$.

    They do care about “dengy”, however.

    “Dengy” were invented by rasha/sovok union, and are better and holier than anyone else’s money.

    Just so everyone knows.

  14. To RTV,
    This pathological hatread of Poland is so typical of the Russians – otherwise known as ‘obosranye, kasaglazye ruskie riaby’ – I am just trying to get down to your level dearie.

  15. elmer

    On my part I see the US not Russia as a one-dimensional society in the respect of money vector and sort of intellectual desert in many a respect. Most Americans live in collective self-delusion about the outer world.

    • rts,

      “Most Americans live in collective self-delusion about the outer world.”

      Those people are intellectually lazy, whereas you are intellectually dishonest.

    • I know you see it that way. The question is, are you right? And why did you think you were? :-)

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